Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996) starring Melissa Joan Hart, Sherry Miller, Charlene Fernetz, Michelle Beaudoin, Ryan Reynolds, Tobias Mehler directed by Tibor Takács Movie Review

Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Melissa Joan Hart as Sabrina Sawyer in Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996)

Some Kind of Witchcraft

To be honest I barely remember the TV series which followed TV movie "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" but what I do remember was that it was so much better than this movie. In fact it is actually a bit of a surprise that a TV series got made because as TV movies go "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" is dull and even a bit misleading. You see here we are meant to have a story about Sabrina discovering she is a witch instead we have "Some Kind of Wonderful" as Sabrina falls for school hunk Seth and doesn't realise that best friend Harvey is in love with her. There is some magical merriment to all this but it is such a cliche romantic storyline that the movie ends up dull.

Having moved to live with her two Aunts, Sabrina (Melissa Joan Hart - My Fake Fiance) starts to experience some strange things as she turns sixteen discovering a few days after she has a party that she and her aunts are witches. But that is not the only strange thing she experiences as she falls for school hunk Seth (Ryan Reynolds - The Proposal) totally unaware that her best friend Harvey (Tobias Mehler) is in love with her.

Ryan Reynolds as Seth in Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996)

I suppose the biggest disappointment for me is that Sabrina discovering she is a witch seems to play second fiddle to the cliche teen romance storyline. As such we do get a few moments of magic be it Sabrina casting a spell or her aunts intervening but it seems so tame. And as for the whole aspect of Sabrina actually learning she is a witch well it is dealt with so quickly that you almost question why they bothered. For me the focus is wrong, the focus should have been on Sabrina being shocked to discover she is a witch rather than the romantic cliche.

As for that romantic cliche, well as already pointed out we are in "Some Kind of Wonderful" territory as Sabrina falls for hunky Seth. It is text book stuff because not only does Sabrina miss the fact that Harvey is in love with her but she also has to deal with Katy, the queen bitch of school and Seth's former girlfriend. We get a few moments of magic which try and spice this run of the mill storyline up but it still ends up run of the mill and ultimately inferior. It is why I am surprised that the TV series got made because going on this it is weak.

Aside from the fact we have Ryan Reynolds with floppy blond hair and looking strangely like James Van der Beak the only really good thing about "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" is Melissa Joan Hart. It may be wrong to say but Hart is pretty and likeable and it is this more than anything else which keeps you watching especially when we get the seemingly obligatory excruciatingly painful fashion montage.

What this all boils down to is that "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" is a bit disappointing and misleading. Instead of being about Sabrina learning she is a witch the focus ends up on a run of the mill teen romantic cliche which never once feels fresh or interesting.